The Library of Congress >> Librarians, Archivists >> Standards
MARC Standards

MAC Meeting Minutes
MARC Advisory Committee

ALA Annual Meeting
Washington, DC - June 22-23, 2019

MARC Steering Group Members:

Sally H. McCallum               LC                Library of Congress
Hong Cui                        LAC               Library and Archives Canada 
Thurstan Young                  BL                British Library
Reinhold Heuvelmann             DNB               Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

MAC Chair and Secretary

Matthew W. Wise, Chair          NYU               New York University
Everett Allgood, Secretary      NYU               New York University

MARC Advisory Committee Representatives and Liaisons:

Benjamin Abrahamse              PCC             MIT Libraries
Sherman Clarke                  VRA             Freelance art cataloger
Rachel Decker                   AALL            Chapman University
Catherine Gerhart               OLAC            University of Washington
John A. Maier                   ARLIS/NA        Pratt Institute Libraries
Susan M. Moore                  MAGIRT          University of Northern Iowa
María Jesús Morillo Calero      BNE             Biblioteca Nacional de España
John F. Myers                   CC:DA           Union College
Karen A. Peters                 MLA             Library of Congress
Elizabeth Plantz                NLM             National Library of Medicine
Regina Reynolds                 LC/ISSN         Library of Congress
Adam L. Schiff                  SAC             University of Washington Libraries
Jay Weitz                       OCLC            OCLC
John Zagas                      LC              Library of Congress

Other Attendees:

John Attig                      Penn State, retired
Ruth Baker-Gardner              University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica
Fride Fosseng                   Bokbasen AS, Norway
Kevin Ford                      Library of Congress
Bente Franck-Sætervoll          Bokbasen AS, Norway
Tamara Fultz                    Metropolitan Museum of Art
Stephen Hearn                   University of Minnesota
Kate James                      Library of Congress
Donna Kraemer                   U.S. Government Publishing Office
Elaine Manning                  University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
Pat Riva                        Concordia University
Jodi Williamschen               Library of Congress

[Note: anyone who attended and is not listed, please inform LC/Network 
Development and MARC Standards Office.]

Introductions, etc.

Introduction of members

Matthew Wise (NYU, Chair) opened the meeting by asking Committee members, representatives, and liaisons to introduce themselves. A Committee roster was passed around the table and all were asked to "check in" and to annotate their entries with any corrections.

Approval of minutes from MAC January 2019 meetings

The minutes of the meeting at ALA Midwinter in Seattle, WA, January 26-27, 2019, were approved without correction.

Business meeting/Other

1) An update from Jay Weitz (OCLC) was provided regarding Proposal 2019-01.

MAC discussed the incomplete Update 28 with regard to the approved 856 subfields $e and $7 and values based on technical capacity and considerations. Stakeholders from the sponsoring agencies of this paper (OCLC and the German National Library) met on June 20, 2019 with colleagues from NDMSO to determine next steps and timelines.

[NOTE: Approved changes to MARC Fields 506 and 540 have been documented in Update 28 of the MARC documentation as planned, although the 540 changes will only apply in the Bibliographic format; the 540 field is not being introduced to the Holdings format, because field 845 performs a similar role to the 540 field in that context.  Subfields $f, $g, $q and $2 are being added to field 845 in line with the changes which apply to field 540 in the Bibliographic format.]

2) RDA 3R project and MARC

A question was raised whether new elements from the RDA Steering Committee’s 3R Project and revised RDA Toolkit will have significant MARC repercussions. It is anticipated that there will be a collaboration between NDMSO and various MARC/RDA stakeholders to create a small working group in order to submit necessary RDA/3R driven discussion papers for Midwinter 2020.




PROPOSAL 2019-04: Coding Externally Hosted Online Publications in the MARC 21 Holdings Format
URL: //
Source: British Library
Summary: This proposal recommends that changes are made to the Holdings Format character position 008/06 (Receipt or acquisition status) in order to accommodate online publications which are made accessible via a third party platform.
Related Documents: 2019-DP01

MAC Discussion: Thurstan Young (BL) presented the paper, emphasizing that introducing a new code should prevent any conflicts with legacy data, and that the British Library’s needs will be addressed sufficiently by a single byte value. A minor change to the code value definition was accepted at the suggestion of Everett Allgood (NYU, Secretary). This adds content provider as another example of a third party platform besides a publisher’s website.

MAC Action: Proposal approved, with one abstention, and with a minor editorial change to the definition of 008/06 byte value 6 (External access) as follows:

6 - External access
Online content accessed via a third-party platform, e.g., through a publisher’s website, content provider, etc. 

PROPOSAL 2019-05: Subfield Coding in Field 041 for Intertitles and Transcripts in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
URL: //
Source: OLAC Catalogers Network
Summary: This paper proposes adding two new subfields in field 041 (Language Code) for the language of film intertitles and the language of accompanying transcripts for audiovisual materials.
Related Documents: 2018-022019-DP02

MAC Discussion:  Cate Gerhart (OLAC) presented the paper and expressed a desire that use of the proposed changes be restricted to silent films. For clarification, Cate distinguished between librettos, which are typically written before the music is performed, and transcripts, which are generally created after the fact. Transcripts are created by someone in response to a performance taking place either on stage or screen, etc.

Thurstan Young (BL) questioned the need to restrict the use of intertitles to silent films. He cited the well-known prelude/explanatory text at the beginning of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope as an example of a modern film incorporating a textual introduction or supplement to set a scene or performance. He also raised the matter of dubbed films and pointed out that in these cases the language code of any intertitles would not be reflected in the 008 character position 35-37. Including such information within the scope of subfield $i (Language code of intertitles) might therefore be desirable.

Cate Gerhart (OLAC) responded that the OLAC community did not want to clutter intertitle encoding with this sort of data. In her experience as an audio-visual cataloger,  she had never been asked to provide this level of granularity for modern films. Nor was she aware of library users requesting it. John Myers (CC:DA) added that the 546 field could be used to provide information about intertitles in non-silent films if necessary. If the community required further accommodation for intertitles used in a modern or dubbed context, then it should bring forward a separate discussion paper to MAC.

In addressing the issue of transcripts, Thurstan Young (BL) noted that the proposed change in the scope of 041 subfield $m (Language code of original accompanying materials other than librettos) would mean that there was no longer a place for coding original transcripts. Sally McCallum (Library of Congress) added that there were two options for addressing this issue: either the existing scope of subfield $m should be left un-amended or a new subfield ($o) could be defined in field 041 to cover original transcripts.

Cate Gerhart (OLAC) responded that she had never encountered a translated or multilingual transcript which would require that a distinction be made for the original version; however, this was not to say such things were non-existent. She added that it would be preferable to leave the existing scope of subfield $m as it was rather than creating a new subfield $o in field 041, since the latter could be potentially used for a better purposes in future.

Matthew Wise (NYU, Chair) called for a straw-poll vote which demonstrated a clear preference for approving the proposal as written, excluding making the proposed changes to $m.

MAC Action: Proposal approved, with one against and two abstentions, with the amendment to drop the proposed changes for subfield $m.

PROPOSAL 2019-06: Defining a Field for a Subject Added Entry of Unspecified Entity Type in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
URL: //
Source: German National Library, for the Committee on Data Formats
Summary: This paper proposes defining new field "670" to accommodate a subject added entry in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format when the type of entity is unspecified.
Related Documents: 2019-DP03

MAC Discussion: Reinhold Heuvelmann (DNB) presented the paper.

Ben Abrahamse (PCC) commented that he did not see a need at the present time for the bibliographic tag expressing a subject added entry of unspecified entity type to be simultaneously defined within the MARC Authority format.

Elizabeth Plantz (NLM) queried whether it was necessary to define subfields $g, $e, $3 and $4 as part of the new tag.

Reinhold Heuvelmann (DNB) responded that defining these subfields was done to achieve consistency with other fields. Several MAC members added that there was a need to include relationship subfields ($e and $4) because even in situations wherein the type of subject access point may not be provided or known, the relationship(s) between the term(s) and the resource itself may be quite well-defined or understood.

Jay Weitz (OCLC) queried the British Library’s proposed rewording of the field definition’s second sentence:

"The field is used if no information is available to identify the type of entity to which the subject heading belongs."

Jay pointed out that using the term "available" in this context might be problematic: it did not allow for a situation in which the entity type could be identified, but the cataloging institution chose not to do so. He went on to suggest that the term "provided" may be more appropriate in this context. This substitution found agreement from MAC.

Sally McCallum (LC) commented that the new tag’s definition should be accompanied by a note referring to the circumstances under which field 653 should be used instead.

Everett Allgood (NYU, Secretary) queried the use of tag 670, because field 670 plays a significant role in the MARC Authority format. Several MAC members agreed. Reinhold Heuvelmann (DNB) suggested tag "688" instead, i.e. the last field in the 6XX block that can be officially defined, emphasizing the catch-all character of the information.

MAC Action: Proposal approved unanimously, with several amendments:




DISCUSSION PAPER 2019-DP04: Defining Subfield $g in Field 751 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
URL: //
Source: German National Library, for the Committee on Data Formats
Summary: This paper explores how qualifying information (a "Zusatz") can be introduced more specifically into MARC Bibliographic field 751 (Added Entry - Geographic Name). The approach outlined is the definition of a new subfield $g for "Miscellaneous information.”
Related Documents: 2014-DP032014-04

MAC Discussion and Action taken: Reinhold Heuvelmann (DNB) presented the paper.

There was broad approval and agreement with the paper from MAC. Matthew Wise (NYU, Chair) interpreted this as consensus that MAC agreed with processing this paper as a Fast-Track proposal.

Thurstan Young (BL) observed that this paper did indeed fall within the MARC alignment subcategory of changes acceptable for fast track; therefore it made sense that MAC process the change as such. Members from the MARC Steering Group agreed and said that the paper would likely be processed within the next couple of months.

The discussion paper was approved for processing as a Fast-Track proposal.

DISCUSSION PAPER 2019-DP05: Adding Subfield $0 to Fields 310, 321, and 521 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
URL: //
Source: Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO), Library of Congress
Summary: This paper proposes adding subfield $0 (Authority record control number or standard number) to the following fields in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format that currently do not have subfield $0 defined: Field 310 (Current Publication Frequency), Field 321 (Former Publication Frequency), Field 521 (Target Audience Note).
Related Documents: 2010-062016-DP192017-08

MAC Discussion and Action taken: Jodi Williamschen (Library of Congress) introduced this paper and offered the following additional explanation: In the MARC-to-BIBFRAME transformation, LC is currently working with the fixed field elements for Audience and the IRIs that BIBFRAME is generating for these values; when LC needs to reverse the process and convert BIBFRAME data to MARC, it wants to have some place to “park” (i.e., encode) these IRIs  as a means of facilitating a loss-less transformation.

There was broad agreement from MAC that providing placeholder subfields to encode these IRIs where applicable was a good idea.

Importantly, NDMSO also recognizes the need to retain the ability for catalogers to input non-standardized, free-text statements for cases where there is no controlled language equivalent available. Thurstan Young (BL) observed that the use of subfield $2 for 34X tag source information already offered a means to distinguish between controlled and non-controlled text. He added that defining subfield $2 for the fields outlined in this paper (in order to indicate when text is controlled) would be a cleaner, more consistent solution than using indicator values. If a field were to contain uncontrolled text, then it would simply not contain $2.

Several MAC members observed that there are numerous MARC fixed field values with corresponding text strings or variable text(s) within the 5XX fields and elsewhere. Jodi Williamschen (LC) agreed and added that, as LC continues to work through these MARC-to-BIBFRAME round-trip transformations, similar papers are likely to be forwarded. Some wondered whether MAC may have thoughts for handling these transformation-related papers more systematically, or one at a time as each is identified.

As regards the 521 field (Target Audience Note), Adam Schiff (SAC) argued that MARC should not control text statements in this tag. The place for controlled language audience characteristics is in the 385 and 386 fields (385 - Audience Characteristics; 386 - Creator/Contributor Characteristics); the 521 field represents a free-text equivalent for target audience characteristics.

It was also noted (as brought up in pre-meeting listserv comments) that the proposed subfield $2 (Source) in field 521 is identical to the existing 521 subfield $b (Source), and that a future paper should consider a revision to either the subfield $b or the proposed subfield $2.

The paper will return as a proposal.


Respectfully submitted,
Everett Allgood


The Library of Congress >> Librarians, Archivists >> Standards
( 08/02/2019 )
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us